Best Online Bachelor’s in Accounting Programs of 2021

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By BestColleges Rankings Team

Published on August 19, 2021

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If the phrase “nothing is certain but death and taxes” is any indication, students who graduate with an accounting degree enter an especially steady field. While graduates should not expect a drastic expansion in the need for trained accountants, job numbers are still steadily growing with the economy. To put it simply, as long as individuals, businesses, and organizations are bound by tax law, accountants will forever be in demand.

Another benefit to an online accounting degree is how fluidly the coursework translates to different industries and organizations. Accountants work in a diverse array of settings, including nonprofit organizations, Fortune 500 corporations, and small, privately owned accounting firms.

This page looks at some of the best online bachelor's in accounting programs, typical courses offered, and common career paths. Read on to learn more.

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Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What Are the Best Online Bachelor's in Accounting Programs of 2021? Here Are Our Top 10:

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#1 Pennsylvania State University-World Campus University Park, PA
#2 Trine University Fort Wayne, IN
#3 Maryville University of Saint Louis Saint Louis, MO
#4 Wesleyan College Macon, GA
#5 Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, FL
#6 Shorter University Rome, GA
#7 University of Mary Bismarck, ND
#8 University of Massachusetts-Amherst Amherst, MA
#9 Eastern New Mexico University Portales, NM
#10 Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Saint Mary of the Woods, IN
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2021 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Accounting Programs

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Pennsylvania State University-World Campus View School Profile University Park, PA

The University Park-based Penn State World Campus offers students an online bachelor's in accounting. The program boasts accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business — one of only 5% of business programs to do so.

Students learn the foundational accounting skills needed to sit for certification exams or continue on to earn graduate degrees and other specialized credentials. The 120-credit curriculum includes courses such as federal taxation, business strategy, and financial accounting. New students can enroll in the program on one of three annual start dates.

Penn State is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Program Snapshot:

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Accounting
School Status: Public
Tuition: $576 per credit (lower-division credits); $617 per credit (upper-division credits)
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Trine University View School Profile Fort Wayne, IN

Located in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Trine offers students an online BS in business administration with an accounting major. It also allows especially motivated students to earn undergraduate and graduate credits at the same time, completing a dual BS/MBA or BS/MS in business analytics on an expedited timeline.

Students complete courses like strategic management, organizational behavior, and auditing. Faculty deliver courses in eight-week blocks. The school's generous credit acceptance policies allow students to transfer in up to 90 credits based on previous learning, work experience, exams, or military experience.

Trine is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Accounting Major
School Status: Private
Tuition: $399 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum requirement
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Maryville University of Saint Louis View School Profile Saint Louis, MO

The Missouri-based Maryville University offers an online bachelor's in accounting. Qualifying undergraduate students can take advantage of three early-access courses, which can later be applied to meet the requirements for a master's degree.

The curriculum covers topics like forensic accounting and ethics, individual income tax, and operations management. Students also participate in a capstone course to demonstrate mastery of skills. The program's mentor-driven educational approach helps students better prepare for success in a professional setting.

Maryville is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Accounting
School Status: Private
Tuition: $500 per credit
Credit Requirements: 128 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum requirement
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Wesleyan College View School Profile Macon, GA

Located in Macon, Georgia, Wesleyan offers an online bachelor's in accounting. Founded in 1836 as a woman's college, Wesleyan features flexible scheduling and a generous transfer policy. Courses last eight weeks, and students can participate in five sessions per year.

Students receive support from mentors and interact with accounting professionals. The liberal arts program helps students develop their critical thinking abilities and professionalism. Major-related coursework covers the principles of managerial accounting, business law, and investment analysis. Students must also complete a professional development experience, interning at a local place of business.

Wesleyan is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Accounting
School Status: Private
Tuition: $448 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum requirement
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT optional

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Florida Atlantic University View School Profile Boca Raton, FL

Boca Raton's FAU offers an online bachelor's in accounting. Students learn to audit financial records, maintain compliance, and fluently communicate financial information. This degree completion program is aimed at students already committed to the accounting path.

Through classes in cost accounting, tax theory, and government and nonprofit accounting, students gain holistic accounting knowledge and discuss many ethical issues in business. Students must possess at least 60 eligible transfer credits to apply.

FAU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and its business school holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting
School Status: Public
Tuition: $263 per credit (in-state); $782 per credit (out-of-state)
Credit Requirements: 60 credits (120 total credits)
Degree Completion Program: Yes
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Shorter University View School Profile Rome, GA

Based in Rome, Georgia, Shorter University offers an online bachelor of business administration in accounting. The curriculum contains a strong business influence and a combination of both theory and practice to prepare students for career success.

Students take courses like principles of financial accounting, income tax, and governmental accounting, plus more niche offerings such as forensic interviews and an interrogations class. Students also complete an internship experience.

Shorter University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting
School Status: Private
Tuition: $367 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.25 minimum required
Standardized Tests: ACT (19 or higher required) or SAT (900 or higher required)

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Request more information about this program.

University of Mary View School Profile Bismarck, ND

Located in Bismarck, North Dakota, the University of Mary offers a bachelor of science in accounting. Students can choose a fully online program, take evening classes in person, or pursue a blended option. The school accepts applications on a rolling basis and new start dates are offered every five weeks.

Foundational courses include principles of accounting and income taxation for business entities. Internships and classes in advanced spreadsheets and oral communication prepare students for working in professional business settings.

University of Mary is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and its business school holds accreditation from the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Accounting
School Status: Private
Tuition: $450 per credit
Credit Requirements: 124 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online, in person, or blended
Instruction Style: Asynchronous and/or synchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum specified
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

University of Massachusetts-Amherst View School Profile Amherst, MA

UMass Amherst offers students an online bachelor of business administration in accounting through its Isenberg School of Management. Students prepare to pursue work as auditors, tax specialists, treasurers, and other related positions.

Participants complete at least 11 business courses and nine major-related accounting courses. Classes go over topics like cost accounting, CPA law, individual taxation, and corporate taxation. Students need at least 27 credits to transfer into the program, and they must complete a total of 120 credits to graduate.

UMass Amherst is regionally accredited by the New England Higher Education Commission, and its business school is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting
School Status: Public
Tuition: $475 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits total (including at least 27 transfer credits)
Degree Completion Program: Yes
Program Length: 2-4 years, depending on transfer credits
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 or higher preferred
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Eastern New Mexico University View School Profile Portales, NM

Located in Portales, ENMU offers a bachelor of business administration in accounting that is delivered entirely online. Faculty utilize asynchronous and synchronous delivery to provide students with connections to their professors and peers, while also allowing for flexibility.

Course highlights include income tax accounting for corporations, partnerships, and fiduciaries. Distance learners can access free job placement assistance, an online writing lab, and tutoring services. As one of the most affordable four-year institutions in the country, ENMU may be an attractive option for budget-minded students.

ENMU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting
School Status: Public
Tuition: $299 per credit (in-state); $374 per credit (out-of-state)
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous and synchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum specified
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College View School Profile Saint Mary of the Woods, IN

Based in Indiana, SMWC offers students a bachelor's in accounting that can be completed on campus or online. Students take a 27-credit business core, as well as 24 credits of accounting classes. They can also pursue one of two concentrations: entrepreneurship or professional prep.

Students may transfer up to half of the required credits into the program to complete their degree. Graduates who go on to earn certification and additional experience can pursue positions like forensic accountant and internal auditor. The college boasts a student-to-faculty ratio of 13-to-1, and class sizes are capped at 30 students.

SMWC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Accounting
School Status: Private
Tuition: $496 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum specified
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT encouraged

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Thomas Jefferson University View School Profile Philadelphia, PA

Based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Jefferson offers a bachelor's in accounting entirely online. Faculty deliver Jefferson Online courses through eight-week sessions.

In addition to the general education curriculum, students take a professional education core, which features courses like principles of management and finding and evaluating statistical data. Major-related accounting courses include financial accounting, auditing, and federal taxes. Graduates can go on to pursue work as tax specialists, auditors, and many other finance-related positions.

Jefferson is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Accounting
School Status: Private
Tuition: $605 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Dickinson State University View School Profile Dickinson, ND

Located in North Dakota, DSU offers a bachelor of business administration in accounting that can be completed online. The degree track includes three major components: pre-major courses, business courses, and accounting courses.

Students prepare for degree work by taking pre-major classes like elements of accounting, spreadsheet applications, and principles of microeconomics. Business courses cover topics like business law and managerial finance, while accounting courses delve into computerized accounting, income tax, and auditing.

DSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Condition, and its business school boasts accreditation from the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting
School Status: Public
Tuition: $249 per credit (in-state, ND, MN, MT, SD, MB, SK); $319 (out-of-state)
Credit Requirements: 121 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT, waived through summer 2022

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Upper Iowa University View School Profile Fayette, IA

Based in Fayette, UIU provides an online bachelor's in accounting through its School of Business and Professional Studies. Students take two courses per eight-week session, allowing them to focus on just a couple of topics at once.

Courses include accounting principles, accounting for nonprofit organizations, and forensic accounting. Students can go on to careers like chief financial officer or forensic accountant. UIU partners with many employers to help students coordinate internships and future employment opportunities. The program also offers dedicated support from advisors and mentors.

UIU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor's in Accounting
School Status: Private
Tuition: $488 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum requirement
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Lakeland University View School Profile Plymouth, WI

LU — based in Plymouth, Wisconsin — offers students an online bachelor's in accounting through its Kellett School. The degree track focuses on accounting theory as well as applied, real-world topics. Learners can choose from more than a dozen optional emphasis areas, including digital marketing, healthcare management, and sustainability.

Students take 63 major-related credits, going over topics like financial accounting principles, business law, and management principles. Recent graduates have gone on to work for organizations like PricewaterhouseCoopers, U.S. Bank, and the Wisconsin Department of Treasury.

LU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Accounting
School Status: Private
Tuition: $530 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Gardner-Webb University View School Profile Boiling Springs, NC

Located in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, Gardner-Webb oversees an online bachelor's in accounting program that operates as a degree completion program. The university holds articulation agreements with many North Carolina community colleges, allowing associate degree-holders to easily transfer into its degree completion programs.

Students at this Christian school learn to handle budget analysis and financial planning by completing applied business statistics and financial management courses. They take 36 credits of business classes, as well as 21 credits of accounting coursework.

Gardner-Webb is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Accounting
School Status: Private
Tuition: $448 per credit
Credit Requirements: 60-63 credits (120-123 credits total)
Degree Completion Program: Yes
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Accounting Program?

Students who enjoy working with numbers and reconciling mathematical data may find an online bachelor's in accounting a versatile degree with seemingly endless career possibilities.

Students who enjoy working with numbers and reconciling mathematical data may find an online bachelor's in accounting a versatile degree with seemingly endless career possibilities. Undergraduate accounting programs cover basic accounting principles and processes while exploring topics such as tax law, cost/benefit analysis, and auditing. Learners often have the opportunity to choose a specialized concentration such as financial fraud investigation or forensic accounting.

Effective future accountants often thrive working individually while also boasting strong interpersonal skills. Successful students often possess strong math and analytical expertise, organizational skills, and a keen attention to detail. Students' particular skill sets can help determine a specialization or future career.

While crunching numbers makes up much of an accountant's livelihood, written and verbal communication skills often play a key role in professional relationships and prospects. Successful managers and executives are often effective communicators.

Depending on the number of transferable courses, an online bachelor's in accounting takes 2-5 years to complete, with most learners taking four years. Through the approximately 130 credits required to graduate, learners tackle foundational business classes such as business law and strategic management, as well as accounting coursework such as federal income tax and auditing.

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What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Accounting Program?

Online bachelor's in accounting programs provide students with the theoretical and practical skills needed to enter the accounting field. Learners continually build upon previous knowledge by complementing their introductory accounting classes with advanced coursework.

While BA and BS accounting degrees may differ slightly, that difference mainly applies to general education coursework.

Accounting I

Providing an introduction to the basic concepts and standards of financial accounting, this course examines topics like revenue recognition, inventory, and long-term liabilities. Students learn to produce income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements.

Strategic Cost Analysis

In this course, students learn to analyze and manage costs to improve the strategic position of a business or organization. Throughout the course, learners apply essential concepts of strategic cost analysis to anticipate financial performance and improve strategic positions.

Accounting and Business Analysis

Building on prior coursework, this class teaches students how to assess financial statements and disclosures with the goal of analyzing how an entity's financial decisions determine their underlying economic status. This course provides learners with the tools and framework needed to effectively analyze financial statements.

Forensic Analytics

This course examines how technological trends and methods, particularly data analytics, can help in criminal and fraud investigations. Students review conceptual and source material while gaining the technical programming skills needed to analyze complex financial data.

Taxes and Business Strategy

This course teaches students new ways of thinking about taxes. Students also develop a framework for comprehending how taxes influence business decisions. Learners engage with scenarios involving compensation, investments, and mergers and acquisitions.

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What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Accounting Degree?

Upon completing an online bachelor's in accounting, graduates can apply their rigorous academic work to a diverse set of careers. Accounting graduates gain an expansive set of business tools that companies and organizations find attractive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), accountants earn a median annual salary of $71,550.

One popular career path involves securing certified public accountant (CPA) licensure. This certification demonstrates a high level of dedication and expertise to future employers.

Learn more about accounting careers heree.

true Certified Public Accountant

CPAs must complete additional coursework and pass a set of rigorous exams. Earning the CPA designation increases competitiveness in job searches and allows qualified professionals to open their own firms.

Budget Analyst

Budget analysts assess spending, resource management, and finances for organizations of all sizes. These professionals work in diverse fields, including higher education, business, government, and the nonprofit sector.

Tax Accountant

Individuals and multinational corporations alike must file annual taxes. As such, tax accountants tend to be in high demand, especially during tax season. Experienced tax accountants can produce accurate filings while ensuring that individuals, along with public and private entities, do not pay more than legally required.

Auditor

For accounting graduates with an eye for nuance and small details, work as an auditor can be lucrative. Auditors evaluate the finances of businesses and organizations to ensure the accuracy of financial reports. These professionals delve into vital financial information like balance sheets and cash flow statements before synthesizing data.

Forensic Accounting

Forensic accountants employ accounting, auditing, and investigative skills when examining the finances of businesses, individuals, and organizations. Forensic accountants provide financial analyses for legal proceedings involving crimes like embezzlement and fraud.

Accounting not for you? Check out these related careers.

Finance Careers Economics Careers Business Careers

Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Accounting Programs

Is an online accounting degree worth it?

Yes. Accountant graduates enter a steady field. There are ample career opportunities in accounting, finance, and business. Accountants are an essential part of the business world, and the degree is surprisingly flexible.

What can I do with a bachelor's in accounting?

An accounting degree teaches critical thinking and problem-solving skills that apply to numerous career paths. Although pursuing CPA certification is a common path, accounting graduates can compete for many different careers in business and finance.

How many accounting majors get jobs?

Accounting majors play an essential role in businesses, corporations, and public programs. There are more than 1.4 million accountants and auditors in the United States. Graduates can find jobs in many other fields, as well.

How much money can I make with a bachelor's in accounting degree?

Accounting salaries vary depending on education, certifications, and experience. According to the BLS, accountants and auditors make a median annual salary of $71,550.

What are the highest paying jobs with a bachelor's in accounting?

The highest paying jobs with a bachelor's in accounting are in the private sector. Forensic accountants and certified fraud examiners can often make over $100,000 annually. Executives and accountants in managerial roles also earn lucrative salaries.

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